- With Mayo Clinic medical oncologist
Timothy J. Moynihan, M.D.read biographyclose window
Timothy J. Moynihan, M.D.Timothy Moynihan, M.D.
"As a practicing medical oncologist, I meet with patients and families every day to help manage their course through this disease called cancer. This experience provides unique insight into the needs of cancer patients, their families and loved ones and brings into sharp focus the need for reliable information to be readily available in terms that can be easily understood." — Dr. Timothy Moynihan
Dr. Timothy Moynihan believes that providing consumers with accurate, timely information on the broad, complex topic of cancer is the biggest challenge facing medical websites. As the guiding force behind our cancer content, he makes sure Mayo Clinic meets the test.
Dr. Moynihan, born in Las Vegas, N.M., and raised in Denver, is a consultant in medical oncology at Mayo Clinic and an associate professor at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minn. He's board certified in internal medicine, medical oncology, and hospice and palliative care medicine.
He did his medical oncology training at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, and then went on to the University of Minnesota and St. Paul Regions Medical Center for seven years before moving to Mayo Clinic in 1999. Dr. Moynihan is medical director of the Mayo Clinic hospice.
Dr. Moynihan serves as the education chair for the Department of Oncology and the fellowship program director. Four times he has been selected as Teacher of the Year in medical oncology and elected to the Teacher of the Year Hall of Fame.
Past honors include distinguished clinical teacher at the University of Minnesota Medical School, best internist at the Medical College of Wisconsin and recipient of the Upjohn Achievement Award for Excellence in Medicine. Dr. Moynihan serves on several national committees for the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
"The Internet provides a ready source of information on a wide range of topics of interest to those affected by cancer," Dr. Moynihan says. "The difficulty is trying to decide which sites provide reputable information and which information is relevant to each individual patient. The long history and tradition of excellence associated with Mayo Clinic assures you that information provided will be reliable, up-to-date and comprehensive."
Pancreatic cancer treatment: Why is it so challenging?
Why is pancreatic cancer so difficult to treat?
from Timothy J. Moynihan, M.D.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest cancers. Even with aggressive treatment, the prognosis is poor. Various factors stack the odds against successful pancreatic cancer treatment:
- Early detection is uncommon. Few pancreatic cancers are found in the early stages of the disease, when the cancerous cells can be surgically removed. Signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer — such as pain in the upper abdomen, yellow skin and eyes, and weight loss — don't typically occur until the disease is advanced.
- Pancreatic cancer tends to spread quickly. The pancreas lies at the junction of several very important structures in your abdomen, making it easy for the cancer to spread into these structures and organs. Pancreatic cancer often spreads to nearby organs — including the liver, gallbladder and intestines — early in the course of the disease.
- Recurrence is likely. Even after surgical removal, pancreatic cancer often recurs.
In addition, pancreatic cancer tends to be relatively resistant to chemotherapy. However, several newer treatments show promise in increasing the response rate to pancreatic cancer treatment.
- Fernandez-del Castillo C. Clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and staging of exocrine pancreatic cancer. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 19, 2013.
- Ryan DP, et al. Management of locally advanced and borderline resectable exocrine pancreatic cancer. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 19, 2013.
- Ryan DP. Chemotherapy for advanced exocrine pancreatic cancer. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 18, 2013.
- Pancreatic cancer. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/pancreaticcancer/detailedguide/pancreatic-cancer-new-research. Accessed June 19, 2013.
- Diep CH, et al. Synergistic effect between erlotinib and MEK inhibitors in KRAS wildtype human pancreatic cancer cells. Clinical Cancer Research. 2011;17:2744.
- Lange F, et al. Insights into erlotinib action in pancreatic cancer cells using a combined experimental and mathematical approach. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2012;18:6226.
- FDA approval for erlotinib hydrochloride. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/druginfo/fda-erlotinib-hydrochloride#Anchor-Pancreati-44285. Accessed June 19, 2013.
- Conroy T, et al. FOLFIRINOX versus gemcitabine for metastatic pancreatic cancer. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2011;364:1817.